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Box Breathing to the Relaxation Response

This is the most commented post on my blog. Many people tell me that they start their mornings using “ Box Breathing”, do it a few times during the day, and do it at night just before going to sleep.

This has been proven to be an excellent coping mechanism for aid workers to teach anyone traumatized. It is easy to teach.

This post is about how to initiate the “Relaxation Response” when stressed. Most of you have read about the “fight, flight, or freeze stress response” for survival. This is a 3-minute updated video on this subject:

Did you know that the fastest, most effective way to switch off the “stress response” and turn on the  “relaxation response” is to breathe in a controlled way. When doing this exercise remember to: Breathe through your Nose & to Belly Breathe :


Box Breathing – otherwise known as square breathing:

The technique is simple with just four steps:

  1. Breathe in for 4 seconds (ideally through your nose) for 4 seconds
  2. Hold your breath for four seconds.
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds through your nose.
  4. Then pause for four seconds before taking your next breath through your nose. Repeat the sequence at least 5 times in a row.

You can do Box Breathing any time, anywhere. I have made it easier for you to keep track of time on the 4 seconds intervals by using this video timer:

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